Backyard Breaks Is Withholding Cards. Again

Backyard Breaks are back to doing what they do best. No, not yelling in tube tops. Instead, running alleged scams. The controversial outfit was involved in a scandal when they did not send a Trevor Lawrence gold Kaboom! after promising to do it in a giveaway. They have been involved in other scandals since, most notably including strong suspicions they received marked boxes. But now it seems Backyard Breaks is withholding cards. Again. We have the whole story.

What did Backyard Breaks do this time?

Here is what happened. A user of Backyard Breaks, Dennis Dileonardo, bought into a repack break where the big prize was supposed to be a Joe Burrow 2020 Contenders auto. Many people bought in for the price of $2,200. But they did not tell their customers that the Joe Burrow in question was a redemption. And an expired one at that.

Backyard Breaks offered him a Giannis Antetokounmpo auto rookie card, an auto BGS 9.5, to make it up to the user. It was part of their repack product thatBackyard Breaks sells. All that is well and good. However, the buyer did not receive the card in question.

The story in their own words

Here is the story in the words of the client:

“I was waiting to make this post hoping to not having to make it. I’ll summarize
-Joey Burrow bounty in 2020 contenders, if hit you get a free nebula repack (there biggest repack)
Promoting 6 boxes left and no qb auto hit
I BOUGHT a boxes $2200 and some change
That’s not all
My package came 13 days later and no Giannis
And they posted all the big hits that night on instagram except my Giannis! Go Figure
I have been on them everyday since for the same card replaced or a Giannis rookie raw auto and a Joey B raw rookie auto at the total value of the Giannis rookie 9.5 around 2200-2500$ in total
They said they will but have been MIA FOR OVER A WEEK AND HAVE HAD AMPLE TOIME TO REPLACE.”

The response

Backyard Breaks wrote the customer an email explaining why the card had not arrived:

“After looking into this further, it looks like the Giannis was improperly sorted by one of our fulfillment members. I have spoken with them and stressed the importance of accuracy in these matters to ensure this does not happen again. That being said, we have something we want to offer you as a replacement. The original Giannis you pulled was comped at around $2,200, but we would like to offer you the Giannis you see in the photo (last comped at $2,500) as a replacement. Does that work?”

That would have been fine, right? But unfortunately, that card never arrived either. At this point, the unhappy customer understandably took to social media. He went to the well-known Facebook group Sportscard Scammer Tracker.

Backyard Breaks try to make it right. Again.

Nick Telford responded to the post on Facebook in the following manner:

“We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience. I sent you an email on Friday at 11 AM EST letting you know that we are doing everything in our power to take care of it.

We have been trying to fulfill your specific request of two raw cards that add up to that value (Joe Burrow + Giannis raw cards that equal $2,200). The team has been searching for the cards that you requested in order to make sure that you are satisfied.

The team will have your replacement cards ordered by tomorrow. I’ll update you here via messenger (I will send you my #) and keep you posted every step of the way. Thank you.”

Not long after that, our friend Dennis Dileonardo posted the following message: “The co-owner Nick is on his way to my house, with an arrival time of 11:30 AM, with what he said is a $2,500 card. And that Friday, he will have two more cards valuing another $3,000. So total over 5k in cards.”

We do not doubt that Backyard Breaks will make it up to Dennis Dileonardo. That is part of their standard method. They often pull fast ones on those who buy into their breaks. Then if the scammed person makes enough noise, they make a public display to compensate them. Sometimes, extravagantly so. Thus they maintain some semblance of credibility. But what about the people who don’t make a big stink? We will never know how many have been scammed without understanding it or how many have kept silent.

The Plummeting Credibility Of Whatnot

The primary problem here is the unscrupulous breakers. But we can’t put all the blame on them. Unfortunately, this particular scam seems to be an all too common occurrence on the Whatnot platform. They do not have adequate oversight on this marketplace, and breaks are a bit of a lawless territory, to begin with. So breakers have pulled this trick repeatedly. And, of course, Backyard Breaks, through their repeated sketchy dealings, have shown there are no real consequences to this behavior.

So, while the entire hobby is (unfortunately) rife with scammers, Whatnot appears to be a particularly fertile ground for this behavior. Listen, no platform is perfect, and any venue that allows private sellers will have scammers. Whatsnot is no different in this regard.

But there is a question of accountability and the willingness to put safeguards to prevent the predatory behavior Backyard Breaks engages in. And Whatsnot is clearly not putting enough effort into that. The Better Business Bureau rates the platform an F. They note that they got that low rating because they received 58 complaints, and Whatsnot failed to respond to 16 and did not resolve two further complaints.

Complaints against Whatnot

What kind of complaints? Here is an example: “I bought two packs of cards for $38 for the seller to open on the screen. He did not send me the best card I hit. This was March 28. On April 7, I reported the item as “missing” and “not received.” The seller wasn’t responding, so I reported to Whatnot support on April 8. Since then, radio silence. The response had been atrocious. No urgency at all, and no phone number provided for customer service.”

In addition, Whatsnot sellers have promised cards in free giveaways on several occasions and have not provided them. And it appears that the company’s policy is to view this behavior as acceptable. One customer complained: “I felt like I had been ripped off by the seller afterward and blocked them. Several days later, I received a notification indicating I had won a $200 magic card from the seller, and I unblocked them and attempted to contact them as this seemed to be part of the items I had purchased.

I received no response from the seller, and Whatnot’s response is just that this is a free giveaway the seller does for buyers, and we’re not going to do anything. I also had a previous seller not send a giveaway item. It feels like sellers can promise whatever they want, and if the buyer doesn’t receive the items, the app’s response is too bad.”

Aside from that kind of complaint, which is inexcusable, they also seem to have a recurring problem with false credit card charges.

Meanwhile, compare this record to eBay. Sure, we love to trash the company and call it FeeBay. Which, granted, is amusing. But they have an A+ record from the Better Business Bureau after 28 years of doing business. And that tells you all you need to know about the difference in accountability.

Backyard Breaks ties to Fanatics

There have long been suspicions that Backyard Breaks have unethical ties to Panini. As a result, some in the hobby expected (hoped is more like it) that Topps and Fanatics would not repeat that cycle. But unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case.

In October 2022, Topps provided Fanatics with an exclusive two-day window to sell 2022 Topps Triple Threads hobby boxes. In other words, Fanatics withheld the product from everyone else, allowing Backyard Breaks to first crack at the high-end product.

Before opening the boxes, Backyard Breaks offered a $35,000 bounty on a Babe Ruth 1/1 Cut Signature Babe Ruth card in the 2022 Topps Triple Threads product, which is, by all accounts, far too high a value for the card, which is worth about a third of that. Then their breaker (who is no longer with the outfit), Backyard Sara, pulled it during that two-day exclusive period.

Using an exceptionally high bounty as a promotion for a card they then proceeded to pull during an exclusive window looks suspicious. But, of course, anything can happen coincidentally. But since Backyard Breaks has a history of ethical problems and a proven record of mathematically improbably pulls, this story also raises suspicions.

It would be far better for everyone if Fanatics did not work with this breaker. However, there are plenty of more honest outfits out there to promote.

Should you use breakers?

An increasing number of hobby enthusiasts are advising people not to buy into breaks. One user on the Blowout Forums said about this scandal, “The problem with the hobby doing poorly right now is that people you thought were honest will act differently if they pull a $30,000 card. Many people are not doing well financially right now in the breaker community, and all they need to say is they lost the card, refund you, and deal with the slight revenue loss of the few people they lost because of the shenanigans.

The remainder of their gambling clients will stay either because they believe the breaker lost the card or because they would do the same thing and see nothing wrong with it.

There have been a few people that I had bought from in the past from Blowout that were great when everyone was making money in 2020-2021. However, in the last year I had three people try to scam me that had decent iTrader feedback or legit references from net54. When times are tough, you will see that those “trusted” people will do anything to keep the money rolling or keep their gambling addiction going.”

This really nails the problem. It certainly helps to avoid breakers with a bad reputation like Backyard Breaks. However, even trusted breakers will be tempted to keep a big hit when trying to make ends meet. Wouldn’t you?

So, we can’t emphatically tell you not to buy into breaks. I sometimes do, and it’s incredibly enjoyable even when I don’t hit anything significant (like 99% of the time). But remember that if you are shooting for that incredible card, you may not get it. That is just reality. Perhaps that is why Whatsnot is the platform of choice for Backyard Breaks. They are less likely to be held accountable there.

The final word on Backyard Breaks withholding cards

We have said it before, and no one listened. Do not buy into breaks with Backyard Breaks. They have repeatedly proven that they will take your hard-earned money and do their best to deprive you of the banger you pulled. There, we repeated it, and still, no one will listen.

Look, breaks are always loaded against you. You know that and enjoy it anyway. That is totally understandable because the fun is always hoping to get a hit and being overjoyed when it happens. But Backyard Breaks are depriving you of the opportunity to buck the odds.

Finally, let’s get real. We can keep blaming Backyard Breaks all we want. But with all the damaging material on them out there, the consumers have to do their due diligence at some point. As the great quote from The Magnificent Seven Western goes: “If God did not want them sheared, He would not have made them sheep.” Some people almost seem to want to be scammed.